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Monday, September 14, 2015

Interfaith Dailogue

Exchange between my Catholic priest bud SF and me, DC.

DC: My drunken Brit blind Catholic neighbor is going through hoops try to get the Bishop or whomever here to let his baby be baptized. I told him to fly you in her to Denpasar but he's going to keep at it. Has to get proof of an annulment.


SF: Regarding your 'drunken Brit blind Catholic neighbor' a couple of pointers about Baptism:
1.  In an emergency, anybody can baptize.  Even an non-christian!  One would have to  intend the intentions of the Church- The Body of Christ.  One need only say "I baptize you in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit," while making the sign of the cross over the child (or person).    Its better with the child's name.  Its better with clean, flowing water- even 'holy water.'
2.  But if the family w

ants the baptism recorded officially by the Church so that the child can go on to First Communion and Confirmation and later Marriage in the Church, then you have to do it through the local parish and /or Bishop.  Those clergy are probably pretty conservative.
3.  If they hit a dead end, tell them to write to Pope Francis.  Why should the Child be deprived of the Grace of Baptism because the parents are disorganized and the local church is hard-hearted and un sympathetic.  The Vatican might help.

DC: Just read that to Philip. He says thanks. I'm not sure it's his annulment. Now I think it's hers. He got his church to email his baptism proof and said that she wasn't Catholic and unlike Judaism, Catholicism is patrilineal and it shouldn't matter. I didn't ask for clarification at this time cause his drinking buddy attendant he said was at his farm drying out for today and didn't want to get caught up. He's standing in the pool leaning on the edge. His Bali wife brought him some coffee. They're like royalty. I've never seen her do anything for him. I almost never see her hold her baby - her helper does that and bottle feeds it. Incidentally, she had to become Catholic to marry him because there's a law in Indonesia that you have to both be the same religion and even Christianity is divided into Catholic and Protestant. Even the two of them can't get married without one changing. I know a man married to a Muslim woman here and asked him what he did and he said became a Muslim for a day.

SF: I'LL BE real interested to know what those Catholic clerics do with the 'Christian for a day concept'?  If your are married in the Church what's the problem? Seems to me, all the have to do is agree to raise and educate the child as a Catholic.  What actually happens is another thing maybe.  I once felt the 'breath of Shiva' that impressed me deeply.  But I don't tell that to Bishops or other hierarchs who feel defensive about whatever...

DC: Not Christian for a day - she has no problem being Christian because there's really nothing required of her but to register with the government. She'll be happy to go to church with him or whatever. Balinese see it all as the same. What they're really into is the local spirits. Even the Muslims here offer to the spirits. Like Japan where Shinto is in their hearts and Buddhism is for funerals and memorial services. But my Aussie friend who was Muslim for a day meant that. He had no interest in going back.

SF: I think that's what I've come to. I understand the theologies I guess.  But I really believe in the 'genius loci.' Maybe I would like it there.  But not this year.